Arizona charity faces lawsuit in Pa.

Nick Rees Apr. 20, 2012, 12:16pm


HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) - Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly's Charitable Trusts and Organization Section has filed a lawsuit against an Arizona charity that allegedly continued soliciting donations after a 2010 consent agreement.

The Tuscon, Arizona-based Mary Schanz Foundation, also known as the Ironwood Pig Sanctuary, was established to provide care for potbellied pigs awaiting adoption. The foundation failed to register with the Pennsylvania Department of State since 2005. Under the state's Charities Act, charities must register with the Department of State before soliciting donations and contributions from citizens.

A June 2010 consent agreement between Ironwood Pig Sanctuary and the Pennsylvania Department of State required the charity to pay a fine and register in Pennsylvania as a charitable organization. The charity, however, only paid the fine, the lawsuit alleges, and failed to register while continuing to solicit for charitable donations in violation of a cease and desist order from the secretary of state.

Kelly's lawsuit, filed Wednesday, also alleges that the charity failed to make certain disclosures that are required by law.

The lawsuit seeks fines for solicitations that violated the Charities Act, an accounting of all funds raised while the charity was not registered, and costs and restitution.

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